An interesting case from the Massachusetts Appeals Court on an issue of first impression in the state, ruling that there is no legal duty of reasonable care owed by a defendant to a plaintiff who was injured during their consensual sexual conduct. John Doe vs. Mary Moe. The court said:

“There are no comprehensive legal rules to regulate consensual sexual behavior, and there are no commonly accepted customs or values that determine parameters for the intensely private and widely diverse forms of such behavior. In the absence of a consensus of community values or customs defining normal consensual sexual conduct, a jury or judge cannot be expected to revolve a claim that certain consensual sexual conduct is undertaken without reasonable care.”

Instead, the court said, adults engaged in consensual sexual behavior should be held to a standard that requires them not to engage in wanton or reckless conduct toward each other.

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.